Thursday, December 12, 2019


I was born near Christmas. We lived with my grandmother, and every year she told the story of how, when my parents brought me home from hospital, I raised my head off my grandmother's shoulder, to look at the lights on the Christmas tree.

My grandmother was a hard working single mother of 5, who cared for her parents in their old age, while looking after her 5 kids. After her parents died, she went to work as a practical nurse, in a long term care facility. She always volunteered to work on Christmas Eve, so the younger staff could be home with their families. On Christmas Eve, she wore a Christmas brooch on her uniform, and carried jingle bells in her pocket, to the delight of her patients, I'm sure.

This is Nanny's brooch. I received it for my 18th birthday. I love it, and people always notice it when I wear it.

My research leads me to believe it is late 1940's costume jewelry, gilded white metal with rhinestones as the candle flames. It has no marks on it, so I have no idea where it might have come from.

I can't wear it without thinking about Nanny. She lived to 88, and enjoyed herself the whole time. I have pictures of her with my kids, and I cherish those. She was a special lady in my life and I loved spending time with her (even if she did cheat at cards).

I am not sure who I will pass the brooch onto, but I hope she understands the value of family.


  1. What lovely memories, Kate......and a gorgeous brooch, very sparkle-arkly.

  2. I believe your Nanny will know you cherish her brooch, wonderful memories.

  3. What lovely memories and a keepsake to wear. The brooch is worth far more than any monetary value. As to who you will entrust with this special treasure, only time will tell. Every year you get to enjoy it at this special time. Bringing back fond memories that brings a smile to your heart.

  4. That is an unusual brooch. Your grandmother sounds like a very special woman. I would have loved to know someone like her. My own grandmother was born during a time when girls weren't valued. I never knew her at any level and she gave no warmth but as I grew older, I start to understand her and know that she had resilience above anything else.

  5. What a lovely tribute to your Nanny, Kate.

  6. I remember my grandma (and now my mom) having pins like this. When I was a kid it was one of my weird little favorite parts of the season--when my mom pulled out her Christmas pins you knew things were getting real.

  7. What a pretty brooch. I received a birthstone ring that had belonged to my grandmother. We were both born in July. I didn't know who I would give the ring to as none of my children were born in July. However, my first granddaughter was born on Grandma's birthday. I no longer wonder.

    1. So far, I have sons and a grandson. I guess I have to wait a bit longer.